Ten Billion Humans, Hurrah!

On Reddit, someone asked, “What’s your solution (no genocides) for humanity as it is estimated 10 billion humans living on earth around 2075?”

This was my answer. Since it’s just long enough to be a blog post, I thought I’d go ahead and share it here as well. Coincidentally, Life Is a Party by Stick Figure was playing while I wrote it. 

What’s my solution? Celebrate wildly once when we hit eight digits.

Yes, seriously. This anti-human, “Boohoo! There are just so many people!” thing is so incredibly tiresome.

“I’ll never have kids, because I don’t want them to grow up in this terrible world!”

OMFG, STFU. Humans have never had it as good as we do now. I realise there are good reasons not to have kids. And if you have one of those reasons, then fair enough, and I truly hope you enjoy life to the fullest. But I also feel a little sorry for you, because otherwise, what’s it all really for?

You are just the latest step in a line that goes all the way back to the primordial soup. You’re a link in an incredibly long chain. Each previous link, all the people in previous generations, found a way to overcome their challenges and pass on their experiences and what they learned. You can too!

As for overpopulation, sorry-not-sorry, but no, the Earth isn’t overpopulated. If you give everyone on Earth today just one acre and we’d all still fit in Texas. (I know people from there like to talk about how big it is, but look at a globe and you’ll see otherwise. Sorry, Texans.) And remember, half the reason we need so many calories is that we drag around these giant computers in our heads that solve incredibly difficult problems. And not exceeding Earth’s carrying capacity is one such problem. We’ll improvise, we’ll adapt, and we’ll overcome.

So no, it’s not that our planet is overpopulated, it’s just poorly managed. And sure, I agree that we need to make some difficult choices to make sure we leave the place in as good a shape as we found it. Look back and you’ll see that there are those in every era who believe that they are there to witness the end of history. The doomsayers have always been wrong before, and they’re wrong now. Every generation faces its challenges. We’re no exception. And we’re going to be okay.